Is whey protein good for people with ulcerative colitis?

Scientists wonder if whey protein might help reduce inflammation in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). This research is still in its infancy.

UC is a type IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) in which the immune response mistakenly attacks the linings. This can lead to inflammation and ulcers. Doctors will usually prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and/or perform surgery to remove the colon or rectum.

This article discusses whey proteins for people with UC. It also discusses the potential risks and other options for whey protein powder.

Whey protein forms when the milk proteins “whey” and “casein” separate. Whey protein is a rich source of essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own. It is referred to as a complete protein by experts.

Numerous studies have shown that whey protein may have a positive effect on the health of the gut, especially in IBD cases.

One study 2014Study of mice exposed to a chemically-induced form UC found that whey protein decreased colon inflammation.

According to a 2017 studyWhey can also be used to increase the number of healthy gut bacteria, such as lactobacilli or bifidobacterium, by involving bacteria samples in test tubes. These bacteria can:

  • Digest fiber and break down food
  • absorb important nutrients
  • Vitamins are vital for your health
  • Prevent infection

However, limited research has been done on humans. This means that, while there may be benefits for people with UC there is not enough evidence to support this. To confirm the efficacy and safety of whey protein in people with UC or IBD, further research is needed.

There are many options for people who want to consume protein powders for their gut health. Below are some examples of alternatives to whey protein.

Whey with psyllium husk

Psyllium husk powder is made from the seeds of the medicinal plants Plantago ovata. Although psyllium powder is not a protein powder however, manufacturers may add it in whey powder to increase its digestibility. People with digestive problems may find it helpful to consume whey protein powders that contain psyllium.

People with UC may also benefit from Psyllium husk powder. The plant helps draw water into the intestines, which can soften stools and ease constipation – a common symptom of IBD.

A 2019 studyIt was found that psyllium-husk can improve the composition and health of the gut bacteria, especially in constipation patients.

Casein protein powder

Casein protein, like whey proteins, also comes from milk. The main difference between the two proteins lies in their digestion time. Casein is slower to digest than whey protein. It provides a steady and slower release of amino acid.

Because of the slower digestion rate, people usually take casein protein before bed and during fasting.

Pea protein powder

Pea protein is a low-fatA plant-based protein powder made from yellow split peas. It could be an alternative to whey protein powder for the following:

  • Vegans
  • People who are sensitive or allergic to lactose
  • People who are allergic to other types of proteins

But, a 2018 studyIt was found that plant-based protein has less protein than animal-based protein like whey powder. There may be differences in protein levels between brands.

The American Institute for Cancer ResearchPea protein is low on the essential amino acid methionine. Pea protein should be consumed in combination with other sources of proteins.

Certain protein powders, drinks, and foods may help to restore good bacteria in the gut, improve gut health, or alleviate symptoms of UC.

Researchers are still determining the best types and amounts of protein for IBD patients. Importantly, 2017 reviewWhile protein appears to be good for your gut health, excessive protein could lead to IBD.

In particular, it can impair intestinal mucosa healing after an episode of IBD flare-up. Further research is needed to determine a safe and effective amount of protein for IBD patients.

People with UC should consult with their doctor before taking protein powders. You should also monitor your symptoms and stop taking protein powder drinks if they get worse.

A lot of people love protein powders for their ability to increase muscle tone and control appetite. However, protein powders can contain ingredients that may be harmful to your health. including:

  • Added sugars, calories:Overeating can cause weight gain.
  • LactoseWhile lactose, a naturally occurring milk sugar, is acceptable for most people it can cause problems for people with extreme lactose intolerance.
  • ToxinsThese can include pesticides or heavy metals. To minimize contamination, you should use a third-party tested product.

You can eat protein and other nutrients from different sources. For those who prefer to eat protein from whole foods, you can try:

A limited amount of research has shown that whey protein may be able to reduce the symptoms of UC or other IBDs. However, there is evidence that excessive protein can cause IBD symptoms to worsen or flare up.

Further human research is required to determine the safety of whey proteins and other types of protein used in the treatment of UC or other IBDs.

People who are concerned about the possibility of taking a protein powder should modify their diet to increase their intake. However, IBD sufferers should consult their doctor before making any dietary changes.

Source: Medical News Today

One Comment

  1. Pea protein is a source of highly bioavailable proteins that are highly affordable. Furthermore, peas are not a common dietary allergen. It is an ideal source of post-workout nutrition.

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